Governor Nikki Haley and South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Director Tony Keck today discussed the significance of the Supreme Court's ruling that upholds the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act during Statehouse press conference.
Video of the event is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG4njE-a02w
During the press conference, Gov. Haley said, "Regardless of the decision that came down, what was bad policy yesterday is bad policy today. The fact that the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate means we are looking at one of the largest tax increases on the American people we have ever seen. This is a tax increase for the people of South Carolina, it's a job killer -- and it is the government getting in the way of physicians and the patients. So with that, what does this mean for South Carolina? It continues to keep us from doing what we know we need We know best what the people of South Carolina need. We know best how to help the people in the rural areas as well as in the cities. If D.C. would let us do our job, we would spend less money and be more effective in the way we do that There is only one solution and that is new leadership in Washington. We have to have a new Senate, and we have to have a new president. We can no longer have any sort of mandates like this that continue to put tax hikes on the people of South Carolina .We need to repeal this law, I've said that from the beginning. We need to not only repeal the law, then we need to go to Washington and say all governors need block granting. We need you to give us the money and let us decide what the people of South Carolina need. We will spend less money. We will be more effective in the way we target it, and we will be able to return that money -- if it's unused."
Director Keck said, "What this does for Medicaid is it takes us back to the status quo. We spent two years to get back to where we are, or where we were two years ago, which is working with an inflexible program that, as the governor said, tries to put a one size fits all approach on every state. As we know, the health problems that we have here in South Carolina, the challenges that we face, are completely different than states around the country. We need the flexibility to make those changes. This decision does not give us that flexibility, and we're going to continue to fight for that flexibility. We've had great effort over the past year and a half working with stakeholders to make changes on the ground to improve the health of South Carolinians -- to reduce costs, we've changed the way we pay providers, and we're working on critical issues in South Carolina. None of that has anything to do with the Affordable Care Act. That's people on the ground making things better in South Carolina."